It’s a game of two haves – the haves and have nots

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

I make no apologies for talking about football this week – isn’t everyone? It’s wall-to-wall coverage of the action in Brazil on all the TV and radio stations and even when you go to the supermarket there are enticements to buy all sorts of things to eat, drink and wear while watching the matches.

Despite Scotland’s no show at the party – remind me, when did we last make a World Cup? – there’s still lots of interest from football fans, and even those of us with only a passing interest get caught up in the frenzy.

I think I’ve handed over more cash for sweepstakes than ever before, only to get my usual handful of teams who it would seem are only there to make up the numbers.

However, I’m glad that I passed on The Falkirk Herald prediction sweep, where I hear a seven-year-old is up there with the leaders after the first week. Imagine the humiliation for all those football ‘experts’ if he wins.

I’m also glad that I wasn’t the only one who found Phil Neville’s commentary of Saturday’s England game monosyllabic and totally boring. It almost sent me to sleep when I had been hoping for a little Latin excitement from the Italian opposition.

But I had to cringe when I was listening to the radio on my way to work this week and one of the young England players was being interviewed after a visit to a Brazilian shanty-town.

This was someone who is playing in the Premiership, probably earning more money in a week than many people in this country are earning in a year, and an amount of cash the 70,000 people in the ramshackle homes on the side of this mountain could only dream about.

He talked about how it was good to see the people there smiling, enjoying life and “getting on with it”.

Son, I hate to tell you, but they have little option.

Life is tough for many, but remove all the razzamatazz of the World Cup and you get down to the real problems facing people in Brazil.

Their life is far removed from the cosseted life of a professional footballer playing in the top league.